Director(s): Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a black hole for the last few months, chances are you’re more than aware of the controversial film ‘The Interview’ which made a surprising amount of news a couple of months back. It follows the story of a goofy young journalist (Franco) and his loyal producer (Rogen) as they land an exclusive interview with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un (Park) after discovering he’s a huge fan of their tabloid news show ‘Skylark Tonight’. Once securing the interview they find themselves being recruited by the CIA to take out the leader of North Korea once and for all. Now, off to Pyongyang they go; get ready for nonstop fun.
‘The Interview’ marks the second effort at Directing for the filmmaking duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, following 2013’s also fantastic ‘This is The End’ and they once again do a great job at the helm, only improving on their work in the task this time around. Regular cast members James Franco and Seth Rogen take the lead roles and deliver hilarity at every corner thanks to their great and hilarious chemistry together. The cast also includes Randall Park (TV’s Fresh off the Boat) who does an impressive job in the role of Kim Jong-un, along with Lizzy Caplan (TV’s Masters of Sex & True Blood) and more in addition to a number of pretty hilarious guest appearances which I won’t spoil here for those who haven’t yet seen the film.
Smart, edgy and downright hilarious from start to end, ‘The Interview’ is an incredibly fun ride and an impressive sophomore directorial outing for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who have both shown they definitely have some real talent behind the camera at directing as well as writing. It’s a surprisingly capable film, capturing and handling both the funny and action-packed moments impressively, managing to really bring ‘The Interview’ together as a well done action-comedy-spy-thriller so to speak. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, I would definitely give ‘The Interview’ my highest recommendation; it’s one of the funniest films of 2014 and not one to be missed, especially for fans of Rogen and Goldberg’s work.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Interview’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks downright gorgeous, with rich, vibrant colors and incredibly detailed surroundings down to each edge of the frame. Everything looks spot-on and beautiful, even the numerous fast moving or action-oriented sequences look marvelous and never suffer from any noise, pixilation or notable faults of any sort throughout. This is a truly incredible high definition video presentation that definitely gets top marks and I can’t imagine it disappointing a single fan.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that could not possibly sound any better. This lossless soundtrack delivers crisp and discrete fun from start to end. It utilizes the surround channels impressively with the score and typical background noise throughout and really hits hard during the action scenes, throwing bullets, rubble and misc debris flying throughout every available channel and never hesitating to take full advantage of the bass when things get explosive; all the while never causing any dialogue occurring simultaneously to become distorted or inaudible. Just as with the video presentation, this 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack gets top marks and should leave just about everyone out there incredibly pleased.
The ‘Freedom Edition’ Blu-Ray release of ‘The Interview’ is jam-packed with fun and hilarious bonus goodies. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director’s Seth Rogen and Evan Golderberg’; a number of ‘Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes’ (over 25 minutes worth in total), a fun 7 minute ‘Gag Reel’; 3 ‘Line-O-Ramas’ (totaling just under 10 minutes combined), Randall Park’s Audition Tape, a funny online dating video by Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and the ‘Naked and Afraid’ special featuring Evan Goldberg & James Franco. We are also treated to a number of short Behind The Scenes Featurette’s (ranging from just shy of 2 minutes to just over 7 minutes each) that are a lot of fun and explore various aspects of the film and feature interviews and comments with the cast of crew in addition to Behind the Scenes footage. The included Featurette’s are: ‘The Director’s of This Movie’; ‘Spies Among Us’; ‘Getting Into Character’; ‘Puppy Power’; ‘Here Kitty Kitty’ and ‘Joking Around’. It should also be noted that the majority of the bonus content (everything but the ‘Audio Commentary’ and the ‘Naked and Afraid’ Special) are Blu-Ray Exclusives and therefore will not be included on the DVD release, so definitely make sure to pick up your copy on Blu-Ray if possible.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.